“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."



African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Israel freezes controversial settlement law

Yahoo – AFP, Stephen Weizman, August 18, 2017

International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes
between those it sanctions and those it does not (AFP Photo/Jack GUEZ)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel's Supreme Court has frozen implementation of a law legalising dozens of Jewish settlements built on private Palestinian land, which the UN labelled a "thick red line".

The decision was condemned by rightwing Israeli politicians who accused the judiciary of overruling the will of Israel's parliament.

Court documents seen by AFP Friday show that Judge Neal Hendel issued Thursday an open-ended restraining order suspending a bill passed by parliament that would retroactively legalise a number of outposts across the occupied West Bank.

The decision was in response to a petition brought by 17 Palestinian local councils on whose land the settlements are built.

Israeli and Palestinian rights groups were also parties to the petition.

Hendel wrote in his decision that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had asked him to grant the order.

It did not specify a time limit but demanded that Israel's parliament, the Knesset, deliver its response by September 10 and that Mandelblit submit an opinion by October 16.

The act, known as the "legalisation law", was passed in February and brought immediate condemnation from around the world.

International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not -- so-called outposts.

Mandelblit himself warned the government the law could be unconstitutional and risked exposing Israel to international prosecution for war crimes.

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov said following the February Knesset vote the bill set a "very dangerous precedent."

"This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues," he told AFP at the time.

"That crosses a very thick red line."

Rightwing condemnation

Rightwing parliamentarians criticised the court decision, saying it undermined the sovereignty of Israel's parliament.

"This is a dangerous intervention by the court against Knesset legislation," MP Bezalel Smotrich of the far right Jewish Home party, which is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government, told The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

"Time after time the judiciary tramples on the decisions of one governmental authority or another. This story must stop."

Mandelblit had suggested the bill would be likely to be struck down by the courts from when it was first proposed.

The act allows Israel to appropriate Palestinian private land on which settlers built without knowing it was private property or because the state allowed them to do so.

Palestinian landowners whose property was taken for settlers would be compensated with cash or given alternative plots.

Palestinians said the law was a means to "legalise theft" and France called it a "new attack on the two-state solution."

Some members of Netanyahu's right-wing government advocate the annexation of much of the West Bank, a move that would end any hope of an independent Palestinian state.

Mladenov said that the "legalisation law" could be a prelude to that.

"It opens the potential for the full annexation of the West Bank and therefore undermines substantially the two-state solution," he said after its passing.

Monday, August 14, 2017

312 dead as mudslides, flooding sweep through Sierra Leone capital

Yahoo – AFP, Saidu Bah, August 14, 2017

Residents struggled to traverse roads that were turned into churning rivers of mud
after Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown was struck by heavy rains (AFP Photo/STR)

Freetown (AFP) - At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless on Monday when heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown, leaving excavators to pull bodies from rubble and overwhelming the city's morgues.

An AFP journalist saw several homes submerged in Regent village, a hilltop community, and corpses floating in the water in the Lumley West area of the city, as the government held an emergency meeting to plan its response to one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the city.

Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the death toll was 312 but could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown and tally the number of dead.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN indicators.

"I counted over 300 bodies and more are coming," Mohamed Sinneh, a morgue technician at Freetown's Connaught Hospital, told AFP, having earlier described an "overwhelming number of dead" at the facility leaving no space to lay out every body.

Many more of the dead were taken to private morgues, Sinneh said.

Sierra Leone's military, police and Red Cross volunteers were meanwhile deployed in an all out effort to locate and rescue citizens trapped in their homes or under rubble.

Images obtained by AFP showed ferocious, churning dark-orange mud coursing down a steep street in the capital, while videos posted by local residents showed people waist- or chest-deep in water trying to cross the road.

The Sierra Leone meteorological department did not issue any warning ahead of the torrential rains to hasten evacuation from the disaster zones, AFP's correspondent based in Freetown said.

'Lost everything'

Fatmata Sesay, who lives on the hilltop area of Juba, said she, her three children and husband were awoken at 4:30 am by rain pounding on the mud house they occupy, which was by then submerged by water.

"I only managed to escape by climbing to the roof of the house when neighbours came in to rescue me," she said.

Sierra Leone's capital is hit each year by flooding that destroys makeshift settlements throughout
 the city, raising the risk of waterborne diseases like cholera This handout picture released
 on August 14, 2017, by Society 4 Climate Chnage Communication Sierra Leone, shows flooded
 streets in Regent near Freetown.The death toll from massive flooding in the Sierra Leone 
capital of Freetown climbed to 312 on August 14, 2017, the local Red Cross told AFP. Red 
Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the toll could rise further as his team continued 
to survey disaster areas in Freetown, where heavy rains have caused homes to disappear 
under water and triggered a mudslide. (AFP Photo/STR)

"We have lost everything and we do not have a place to sleep," she told AFP in tears.

Deputy Information Minister Cornelius Deveaux confirmed President Ernest Bai Koroma had called a national emergency, and said his own boss, Information Minister Mohamed Bangura, was in hospital after being injured in the flooding.

Deveaux said "hundreds" of people had lost their lives and had properties damaged, and promised food and other assistance for the victims.

He called on the public to remain calm with rescue efforts underway.

Piles of corpses

The scale of the human cost of the floods was only becoming clear on Monday afternoon, as images of battered corpses piled on top of each other circulated and residents spoke of their struggles to cope with the destruction and find their loved ones.

Meanwhile disaster management official Vandy Rogers said that "over 2,000 people are homeless," hinting at the huge humanitarian effort that will be required to deal with the fallout of the flooding in one of Africa's poorest nations.

Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million, is hit each year by flooding during several months of rain that destroys makeshift settlements and raises the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Sasha Ekanayake, Save the Children's Sierra Leone Country Director, said the immediate priority was to provide shelter and protect residents, especially children, from the spread of deadly waterborne diseases.

"We are still in the rainy season and must be prepared to respond in the event of further emergencies to come," she said in a statement.

Flooding in the capital in 2015 killed 10 people and left thousands homeless.

Sierra Leone was one of the west African nations hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014 that left more than 4,000 people dead in the country, and it has struggled to revive its economy since the crisis.

About 60 percent of people in Sierra Leone live below the national poverty line, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The country ranked 179th out of 188 countries on the UNDP's 2016 Human Development Index, a basket of data combining life expectancy, education and income and other factors.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rwanda's Paul Kagame: visionary, despot, or both?

Yahoo – AFP, Fran BLANDY, August 1, 2017

Incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame (L) has become one of Africa's
most powerful and admired leaders (AFP Photo/MARCO LONGARI)

Kigali (AFP) - Paul Kagame is revered for stopping Rwanda's genocide and engineering what admirers call an economic miracle, but his critics see a despot who crushes all opposition and rules through fear.

The 59-year-old former guerrilla fighter is seeking a third term in office in August 4 polls after voters massively approved a constitutional amendment allowing him to run again and potentially stay in office for another two decades.

Kagame frames his run as a duty to his country, however the move angered international allies whose patience has worn thin with a man once held up as a shining example of successful post-colonial leadership in Africa.

Yet the president of the tiny central African nation has become one of Africa's most powerful and admired leaders. His counterparts, inspired by Rwanda's turnaround, have tasked him with reforming the African Union.

Shattered by the 1994 genocide and with not a franc left in the national treasury when Kagame took over, Rwanda is now growing at an average seven percent a year while Kigali has transformed into a capital with a gleaming skyline, spotless, safe streets and zero tolerance for corruption.

"Kagame is known as a doer and an implementer, not somebody who says things just like everyone else," said Desire Assogbavi, Oxfam's liason to the AU who also blogs regularly about the body.

His close friend Tony Blair hails him as a "visionary leader" for the remarkable development he has brought about.

'Unapologetically authoritarian'

The president's personality -- described as "unapologetically authoritarian" by author Philip Gourevitch, who wrote a powerful account of the genocide -- was forged by growing up in exile.

In 1960, when he was three, his aristocratic Tutsi family fled to neighbouring Uganda to escape pogroms.

While out of danger, they suffered years of discrimination and persecution that nourished the dream of going back to the homeland they idealised.

Serving in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's rebel force before and after it seized power in 1986, he rose to become its intelligence chief.

Kagame -- the only president known to have had military training both in the US and Cuba -- later took over command of a small rebel force of Rwandan exiles that sneaked back home hoping to overthrow the regime of Juvenal Habyarimana in 1990, sparking civil war.

Habyarimana's death in an aeroplane crash in 1994 triggered three months of genocide, mostly of minority Tutsis by youths in the Hutu majority whipped into a frenzy of hate.

Kagame, a father of four, was just 36 when his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel army routed the forces who had slaughtered an estimated 800,000 people and seized Kigali, becoming the de facto leader of the nation.

'New breed of dictator'

Kagame soon became the darling of an international community deeply ashamed at having stood by during the genocide, even as his RPF was accused of killing tens of thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo while pursuing genocide perpetrators.

It was accusations Kagame was backing rebel groups in the DRC -- which he staunchly denies -- that finally pushed his allies to take a tougher line, with several suspending aid to Rwanda in 2012.

And criticism has grown louder over his rights record.

Kagame's critics have ended up jailed, forced into exile or assassinated. Rights groups slam the repression of the media and opposition.

Kagame won elections in 2003 and 2010 with 95 and 93 percent respectively. Observers say real opponents are silenced while those allowed to run in elections serve as a democratic facade.

One of Rwanda's rare critical journalists, Robert Mugabe, describes Kagame as the quintessential modern dictator.

"We have a new breed of dictators... they hire PR agencies they form a narrative and these dictators are smart enough to know what the western world wants to see and wants to hear."

Kagame, his aloof gaze piercing through black-rimmed glasses, coolly brushes off criticism over his governance and slams the "arrogant" West for dictating to Rwandans what freedom is.

"A strong leader is not necessarily a bad leader. I don't know where we would be today if a weak leader had taken over this country (after the genocide)," Kagame told Jeune Afrique magazine in 2016.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tunisia: Women celebrate their rights

Decades of protest have paid off: Tunisia's parliament has passed a historic law on violence against women. It punishes all forms of violence and sets the country up for a potential cultural revolution.

Deutsche Welle, 27 July 2017


Tunisia's parliament approved legislation on Wednesday that protects women from all forms of violence. The country's Family Minister Naziha Laabidi called it a "historic project."

"It's a very important law," said Abir Alhaj Mawas, a sociologist who works for Terre des Femmes, a women's rights nongovernmental organization. The law addresses women who are isolated, she said, so that they can enjoy rights already common for women elsewhere, such as in Europe.

The centerpiece of the law is, for Mawas, the paragraph dealing with punishing domestic violence. "Rape within the family has long been handled as a private matter easy to cover up, rather than a crime," she said. "This has now changed."

No safety in marriage

The new law changes how violence against women is prosecuted. Authorities must investigate a matter even if the woman herself rescinds her claim, regardless of cause for the claim's withdrawal. The law sees to the legal and psychological support for women who have been victims of violence in a way that aims to "support human rights and gender equality," Minister Laabidi said. Shelters and information centers are to be established where women can receive immediate assistance.

Sociologist Mawas has welcomed
the new law
Tunisia's parliament also addressed a long-time demand of women's rights activists by striking down the paragraph protecting adult men from prosecution for having sex with a minor if he married her.

Violence by the numbers

Many women in Tunisia suffer from violence and harassment. A recently published study found that 64 percent of the 4,000 women surveyed would seek the permission of a male family member before leaving home. Nearly 70 percent reported being insulted on public transport, and 76 percent of married women reported physical and psychological violence at home.

Such violence has a number of sources, Mawas said, including ideology and false interpretations of the Quran. The 2011 wave of uprisings across the Arab world, dubbed the Arab Spring, made matters for women worse, Mawas said. Protests often took an authoritarian turn, and women received the brunt of the violence, she said.

Social conditions are also cause for violence against women. Poorly educated women have limited employment opportunities and can easily become victims of violence. "These women lack the means to make good on their rights," Mawas said.

In Tunisia, the protests in favor of expanding women's rights paid off

Conservative criticism

There was broad support across Tunisian society for the new law, with calls for a cultural reform that compels men to accept women as equals. But by conservatives' religious standards, a person is a consenting adult from the age of 13, Islamic politician Noureddine Bhiri told the newspaper Jeune Afrique. Lawmaker Salem Labiadh told Tunisia's Business News newspaper that the new law "can lead to a radical feminism, destroy the foundation of the family and legalize homosexuality."

Some readers reacted with disdain and mockery in the newspaper's letters to the editor section.

Backward thinking

There are also men who deny their wives rights without religious cause, due to external pressure, Mawas said. "They would be heavily criticized for giving their wives their freedom," she said, adding "even secular men are influenced by a religious climate."

Women in the Arab world continue to suffer under conservative dogma, wrote the Tunisian newspaper, Le Temps. "This must change if we really want equality and dignity to become a reality."

Related Article:


“… With free choice, the percentage of DNA efficiently started to go down as humanity grew. As soon as the DNA started to lose percentage, the gender balance was dysfunctional. If you want to have a test of any society, anywhere on the planet, and you want to know the DNA percentage number [consciousness quota] as a society, there's an easy test: How do they perceive and treat their women? The higher the DNA functionality, the more the feminine divine is honored. This is the test! Different cultures create different DNA consciousness, even at the same time on the planet. So you can have a culture on Earth at 25 percent and one at 37 - and if you did, they would indeed clash. …”

“… You're at 35. There's an equality here, you're starting to see the dark and light, and it's changing everything. You take a look at history and you've come a long way, but it took a long time to get here. Dear ones, we've seen this process before and the snowball is rolling. There isn't anything in the way that's going to stop it. In the path of this snowball of higher consciousness are all kinds of things that will be run over and perish. Part of this is what you call "the establishment". Watch for some very big established things to fall over! The snowball will simply knock them down. …”

Ethiopia to issue IDs for Rastafarian community

Yahoo – AFP, July 28, 2017

A Rastafarian mural in Shashamane, Ethiopia

Ethiopia's foreign ministry said Friday it will issue identification cards to Rastafarians, granting rights to a community that has long complained of living in limbo in their "promised land".

Rastafarians began immigrating to Ethiopia in the 1950s after Emperor Haile Selassie, whom they consider their messiah, set aside 500 acres (1,200 hectares) of land in the southern city of Shashamane for descendants of African slaves seeking to return "home".

But the community shrank after Haile Selassie's overthrow and eventual murder in the 1970s.

These days, the Rastafarian community in Shashamane numbers in the hundreds, but the religion's adherents complain that they can't own property, send their children to university or work because they're not Ethiopian citizens.

Many have also turned their backs on their home countries by not renewing their passports, leaving them stateless.

Foreign ministry spokesman Meles Alem told AFP Rastafarians will now be eligible to receive ID cards that will allow them to reside and have most legal rights in the country.

However, while this card allows them residency they are still not considered citizens.

"There were questions for them to recognise their presence in the country, so that is what the government did," Meles said.

Under the revised guidelines, the cards will also be available to foreigners who have contributed to the country's development and to Israelis of Ethiopian descent, Meles said.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Researchers mourn killing of Cecil the lion's cub

Yahoo – AFP, July 21, 2017

Cecil was killed by American dentist and trophy hunter Walter Palmer. Researchers
now confirm that a trophy hunter has shot dead one of his cubs (AFP Photo)

Johannesburg (AFP) - A trophy hunter in Zimbabwe has shot dead a cub of Cecil the lion whose death in 2015 caused worldwide outrage, researchers tracking the pride confirmed Friday.

Xanda, a six-year-old lion fitted with a radio collar, was killed on July 7 in northwest Zimbabwe, close to where US dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil with a high-powered bow and arrow two years ago.

"Xanda was shot by a trophy hunter on a legally sanctioned hunt in a hunting area outside Hwange National Park," Andrew Loveridge from Oxford University's zoology department told AFP.

"As researchers we are saddened to lose a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth."

In 2015, Cecil's killing triggered fierce controversy as he was a popular attraction for visitors to the famed Hwange National Park.

Both Cecil and Xanda wore electronic GPS tracking collars in a project run by Oxford University's wildlife conservation research unit.

But they had strayed out of the park boundaries and into a legal hunting area.

The trophy hunter has not been named, but many hunters are from the United States or South Africa, paying tens of thousands of dollars for the opportunity to kill lions and other wild animals.

Pro-hunt groups say hunting provides an essential economic incentive to promote long-term conservation and that the income pays to safeguard wildlife and catch poachers.

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper named the hunt's professional expedition leader as Zimbabwean Richard Cooke, and said that the hunt was legal as Xanda was six years old.

It added that Cooke had handed in the collar after discovering it on the dead animal, who was the head of the pride with two lionesses and several cubs.

Palmer, who shot Cecil, a 13-year-old male, was hounded on social media and went into hiding after demonstrations outside his dental practice.

He was reported to have paid $55,000 for the hunt.

No charges were brought against Palmer or the local guide as the hunt was also found to be legal.

Scientists, who say that Hwange has a healthy population of about 550 lions, are pushing for a 5-km (3-mile) hunting exclusion zone to protect lions who wander outside the park's boundaries.

Cecil had at least 12 surviving cubs last year, according to the Oxford research project.

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Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rapper Akon to buy 50% of African music download service

Yahoo – AFP, July 15, 2017

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Badara Thiam, announced in Dakar he would
 become the majority shareholder in the service, describing Musik Bi as 'the
platform of the future' (AFP Photo/John Muchucha)

Dakar (AFP) - Senegalese-American rapper Akon announced Saturday he would purchase 50 percent of African music download service Musik Bi, as the platform struggles to gain a foothold after its launch 18 months ago.

Africa's first home-grown platform for legal music downloads, Musik Bi launched in Senegal in February 2016 with a mission to promote African artists, pay them properly, and fight internet piracy.

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Badara Thiam, announced in Dakar he would become the majority shareholder in the service, describing Musik Bi as "the platform of the future".

"It's not just a platform for Senegal but for Africa," he added, refusing to be drawn on what he had paid for the transaction.

Best known for his singles "Locked Up" and "Smack That", Akon has devoted more of his time in recent years to his Lighting Africa solar energy initiative and other charitable pursuits.

He launched his latest single "Khalice", a collaboration with Senegalese superstar Youssou Ndour, exclusively on Musik Bi.

More than 200 internationally famous musicians, along with younger rappers, jazz artists and Christian and Muslim vocalists, initially agreed to put their music on Musik Bi, where users can download it using their phone credit.

CEO Moustapha Diop, whose company Solid pioneered the project, said ongoing disputes with phone companies over their cut of takings had hindered Musik Bi's reach.

"We have the ambition of developing across Africa and being 'the' musical distribution platform in Africa," Diop told journalists.

"The profit made by the operators is problematic because it goes against the interests of the artists and the platform in general. We will keep pushing to get a reasonable deal," he added.

After mobile operators took their share, artists keep 60 percent of their income from the service, while Musik Bi take the remaining 40 percent.

The platform also hopes to broaden into a music festival, television channel and a streaming service, Akon said.

Piracy and changing consumer habits have seen record sales drop across the continent, with illegal downloads tempting African consumers looking online for music while copyright enforcement remains relatively weak.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

West Africa's fight to keep bad medicine off shelves

Yahoo – AFP, Jennifer O'Mahony and Emilie Iob, July 11, 2017

Fake drugs from China and India are awash in west African markets, with
sometimes deadly consequences

As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well.

Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body.

At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign.

Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face high costs for health care and often lack insurance, said Adama Kane, who founded the health start-up JokkoSante in Senegal to tackle the problem.

Perversely, piles of perfectly good medication go unused in Senegal, Kane noted -- a problem that JokkoSante tackles by organising the collection of unused drugs from people who are awarded points in exchange to obtain other medicines later.

Handing in asthma medication at an exchange point in a health centre in Passy, central Senegal, JokkoSante user Marie Gueye is one of those to benefit.

"My family and I no longer have problems getting medication. All we have to do is come here and collect the points," she told AFP.

Rewards

For Senegal's rural households, up to 73 percent of health-related expenses go on medication, according to JokkoSante research. Half the overall population has no health insurance coverage.

"Our app is used by hospitals, pharmacies and health centres," Kane said, adding it was still at the pilot stage with 1,500 users so far. People create an account and operate the points system all via their mobile phone.

For those too poor to buy drugs at all, JokkoSante has teamed up with large company sponsors, including phone operator Sonatel, who cover the cost of providing patients with free medicine.

Again, the system operates through a mobile app.

For Senegal's rural households, up to 73 percent of health-related expenses go
 on medication and half the overall population has no health insurance coverage

At Diamniadio children's hospital, near Senegal's capital, Dakar, Yacina Ba described the fear of coming to the end of the 50,000 CFA Francs ($85, 75 euros) she scraped together to buy treatment and medication for her sick six-month-old baby, finally begging a doctor for help.

"She had rashes all over her arms," Ba told AFP, explaining how the free treatment sponsorship scheme made all the difference.

'Most vulnerable people'

A health worker at the hospital, who asked not to be identified, conceded that a lack of specialists meant medics often over-prescribe medication to those able to pay.

This can lead to stockpiles of unused, expired drugs which may then fall into the wrong hands.

"Fake drugs are usually bought by the most vulnerable sections of society," said JokkoSante's Kane, who now oversees a small network of pharmacies using his platform, while the government considers a nationwide rollout.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene estimated in 2015 that 122,000 children under five died due to taking poor-quality antimalarials in Sub-Saharan Africa, which, along with antibiotics as the two most in-demand, are the medicines most likely to be out-of-date or cheap copies.

China, India drive trafficking

Counterfeited drugs from China and India are awash in west African markets, according to the Paris-based International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM).

And they are often indistinguishable from the genuine item, it warned.

A joint IRACM and World Customs Organization (WCO) seizure of medical supplies at 16 African ports late last year yielded no fewer than 113 million items of fake medication, 5,000 medical devices and even veterinary products.

Everything from fake cancer drugs to fake sutures for operations can be found in such hauls.

IRACM is working with MPs on drafting legislation to crack down on trafficking in west Africa, but two innovative companies have already taken the matter in hand.

Battling fakes

Sproxil, an anti-counterfeiting start-up established in 2009, works by attaching a scratch panel to drug packets.

Consumers can check their product is the real deal by sending an SMS verification code to the company, which confirms the authenticity.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

G20 launches plan to fight poverty in Africa

Yahoo – AFP, July 8, 2017


German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talks with South Africa's President Jacob
Zuma in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017 (AFP Photo/John MACDOUGALL)

Hamburg (AFP) - G20 nations launched an unprecedented initiative Saturday at the group's summit in Germany to fight poverty in Africa, but critics called the plan half-hearted.

Under German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "Investment Compacts", an initial seven African countries would pledge reforms and receive technical support in order to attract new private investment.

More than half of Africans are under 25 years old and the population is set to double by mid-century, making economic growth and jobs essential for the young to stop them from leaving, Merkel has said.

Germany's partner nations are Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tunisia, while Ethiopia, Morocco, Rwanda and Senegal are also taking part. Far poorer nations such as Niger or Somalia are so far not on the list.

"We are ready to help interested African countries and call on other partners to join the initiative," said the G20 in their final communique.

The plan, as well as multinational initiatives on helping girls, rural youths and promoting renewable energy, would help "to address poverty and inequality as root causes of migration".

Some 100,000 people, most of them sub-Saharan Africans, have made the dangerous journey to Europe across the Mediterranean in rickety boats this year as the migration crisis shows no sign of abating.

Anti-poverty group ONE said that the investment compacts "promised much, but too many G20 partners missed the memo and failed to contribute.

"The flimsy foundations must now be firmed up, follow through and improved, especially for Africa's more fragile states."

The group's Jamie Drummond said that "this will be the African century and Chancellor Merkel wanted the G20 to get on the right side of history, but internal strife and division scattered the G20 away from this visionary path."

Oxfam judged that the plan "rests on the dangerously naive assumption that boosting private investment will automatically help the poorest in the continent.

"If left unchecked, the Compact might simply line the pockets of wealthy foreign investors."

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… The Future of the Illuminati

Now, I want to tell you something that you didn't expect and something I've reported only one other time. What about all of the money that the Illuminati has? There are trillions and trillions of euro in banks, under their control, waiting. What are they going to do with it and where are they going to use it? It's still here. They're waiting.

This group is waiting for something to happen that they know is going to happen, for they see it coming as much as I do. However, I would like to tell you something that they don't expect. With awareness comes generational shift. Those in charge of this money will not always be elders. The indigos eventually will have it.

They are waiting for something to happen in Africa - the building of a new civilization, a continent that has nothing to unlearn. Once Africa is cured, once it's ready, a new civilization can be created from the ground up. Africans will be ready to learn everything about building a foundation for the most advanced civilization ever and will do it with the most modern and inventive systems available. Eventually, this new continent will even beat the economics of China.

This is the prediction and always has been, and the Illuminati's money will fund it. Did I say the Illuminati will fund it? [Kryon laugh]The Illuminati's money will fund it, but there is a difference from the past, dear ones. The ones who inherit the positions in the Illuminati will be a different consciousness. Listen, they are not suddenly going to be the ones who have the good of everyone in their hearts - hardly. They want to make money, but what they will see instead is a way to make a great deal of money through this investment. In the process, it will automatically help hundreds of thousands, and they will be at the beginning, the foundation, that builds the new Africa. The new African states of unification eventually will create a continent stronger than any of the others, and it will have one currency. The resources alone will dwarf anything in the world.

"Wow, Kryon, how long is that going to take?"

The Humans in the room control that and those listening later and reading. When you leave this room, what are you going to do? Go home, report this, rub your hands together, and wait for it to happen? It won't. For the Humans in the room and the old souls hearing and reading have got work to do, and I've told you this before. You've got work to do.

There's an alliance that you're going to have to create with one another and with another group - the young people of Earth. The youth of this earth are changing the way things work. Can you see it? You're not supposed to sit around and watch them either, because they need you, old soul.

It's time for you to align with the indigos and the concepts of the youth of the planet. Do not think for a moment that their age shows their wisdom. These two attributes are not commensurate with one another; they're not linear. These young people may be older souls than you are! Don't think that because they've got technology that you don't understand that you can't be one with them. Their technology is social networking, the very thing we are talking about, where everyone can talk to everyone. The new consciousness on the planet starts in two areas - the children and the old souls.. …



Let me tell you where else it's happening that you are unaware - that which is the beginning of the unity of the African states. Soon the continent will have what they never had before, and when that continent is healed and there is no AIDS and no major disease, they're going to want what you have. They're going to want houses and schools and an economy that works without corruption. They will be done with small-minded leaders who kill their populations for power in what has been called for generations "The History of Africa." Soon it will be the end of history in Africa, and a new continent will emerge.

Be aware that the strength may not come from the expected areas, for new leadership is brewing. There is so much land there and the population is so ready there, it will be one of the strongest economies on the planet within two generations plus 20 years. And it's going to happen because of a unifying idea put together by a few. These are the potentials of the planet, and the end of history as you know it.

In approximately 70 years, there will be a black man who leads this African continent into affluence and peace. He won't be a president, but rather a planner and a revolutionary economic thinker. He, and a strong woman with him, will implement the plan continent-wide. They will unite. This is the potential and this is the plan. Africa will arise out the ashes of centuries of disease and despair and create a viable economic force with workers who can create good products for the day. You think China is economically strong? China must do what it does, hobbled by the secrecy and bias of the old ways of its own history. As large as it is, it will have to eventually compete with Africa, a land of free thinkers and fast change. China will have a major competitor, one that doesn't have any cultural barriers to the advancement of the free Human spirit.. ...."